Blip




This is my entry for the February IWSG post, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Imagine if life was just one big radar...and we are all just blips on the screen.

We are writers, and we have insecurities, but for some of us our insecurities have nothing to do with our craft. I want to show you an example of how our writing can actually help us overcome those insecurities, and in my case, be a sort of a deliverance.

I spend a lot of time here on my blog talking about the difference between the real-world “Don”, and “DL” the writer. That’s because there really is a night and day difference between us. (Let me apologize right now for talking about myself in the 3rd person. It probably makes me sound conceded, but it really does help in writing this.)

Don is both introverted and shy (no – they are not the same thing). He has one close friend, numerous acquaintances, and a family who often wonders what dark hole he’s disappeared into. Though he prefers solitude most of the time, he’s acutely aware of what he misses out on by not being more outgoing and expressive. He is in a constant struggle with himself, wishing he could be that social butterfly whose name is on everybody lips, but unwilling and/or unable to do anything about it.

DL, on the other hand, occupies the digital world with a confidence and swagger that Don could never exhibit. The words and emotions so often suppressed in the real world flow out of him like gushing water through a cracked dam. With his blog he’s been able to make a difference by bringing together other bloggers through his varied, and sometimes unique, efforts. His name (or rather, initials) are recognized around the blogosphere and he genuinely enjoys interacting with everybody he comes across. He is also self-assured enough to believe that it’s only a matter of time before his writing is discovered and one day he’ll be able to expand his influence even farther.

That’s enough of that 3rd person nonsense.

That radar screen I spoke of before? I’d like for you to think of a blip on that screen as a representation of a person's life, and more specifically the impact on the people around us. The blip slowly fades as the beam travels around the circumference of the circle, glowing brightly again as the beam finds it once more. I resolved myself a long time ago to the fact that my real world blip is barely noticeable. Almost undetectable. And even if it is spotted, it fades so quickly it could be easily confused as a glitch. Something that helped me make peace with that is my on-line persona has a blip of its own, and not only does it shine brightly, it remains on the screen for a good long time.

My writing spackles many of the holes my insecurities leave exposed, and that bleeds over into my other life. Out here…I matter… I impact people. Out here...my words are tracks in the snow my heart leaves behind. Out here...is my blip.

And I’m okay with that.

What about you? How does your writing influence your blip? Does it?

37 comments

  1. As I wrote in my post I don't like insulting comments, so I can delete them but the damage is done I have already seen them.
    I read with interest your post and enjoyed the read.
    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  2. I think when people get to know you, your Don is closer to your DL than you may think. :)

    I consider myself a loner with a few close friends. I think I'm also introverted and shy. AND that my online/writer's presence is much different than that. Do you see the me as this as well?

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  3. Whether we're blips, threads, or dots on the grand tapestry of life, we all are really connected. Yes, I wonder how one act of mine affects others. I've been blessed a few times in my life that God has given me a secret glimpse of my actions making a positive change in someone else's life. So often we're unaware of how our example impacts others.

    Oh, and I hear you on the insecure 'in person' me, as opposed to the 'cyber' me. LOL

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  4. There's a spot for all of us to shine. I'm glad you found yours. Though I should say, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert or shy. Unless you stockpile guns in a bunker in your front yard. Then I'd worry.

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  5. sounds like DL needs Don to take more chances to get his writing published! we all need both our sides. I bet most RL personalities arent as bold as the digital, its easier to comment or post and not face the responders...

    great post!

    and misspelling conceited means you arent =) ha ha!

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  6. Powerful stuff, DL. You certainly do matter and you do make a powerful impact!
    I'm much more outgoing online as well. In the 'real' world, no one even knows I write or blog except for my immediate family (& my hubby couldn't even tell you my pen name:)). I definitely feel like a glitch at times and a real blip at others too. It's an interesting dichotomy and does have its advantages too. Keep on blipping! :)

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  7. DL - you always know how to choose just the right words to make your blip last and count! Thank you. I am an introvert, but I forced myself to break out of my shy habits when I was a kid . . .so I don't know if I have a big blip in the "real" world, but I have a little one. I don't have tons of friends, but I have a small group of them. Other than that small group, I focus on my family. And I love my blog buddies. Often, this blogworld is one of the best places I've found for discussing my writing . . .which is something that I hold close to the vest in the "real" world.

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  8. Oooh oooh ooh, could be my favorite ISWG post ever, DL. You are brilliant!
    Karen

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  9. AMEN. And just because your real-world blip is not as noticeable as the other doesn't mean it's not as influential or important! We all wear different hats and have our comfort zones. Writing has been my comfort zone since I battled with extreme shyness and even now that I'm no longer shy and will chat with anyone in the grocery check-out line, it's STILL where I feel most comfortable.

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  10. Your words could have come out of my heart but I don't think I could have written them better.

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  11. I can totally relate to your two personas. I actually life my on-line self better. She's much more outgoing than I am :)

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  12. That was exceptional. I'm gonna refer myself back here over and over again.

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  13. Now you've got me thinking. I need to grow my blip. At least one of them. I wondering which one.

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  14. Isn't it funny how we can all be so different when you take the computer screen away? I'm also much more outgoing online than I am in real life. It's strange to me how a computer screen can give us all an added confidence.

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  15. Um wow, DL, this was powerful to read! I wonder if your two blips will someday intersect and each will take a piece of the other before they flit on by again. :)

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  16. Neat post! The fact that I'm a storyteller at heart colors, in some way, how I approach and perceive most of the things I do each day. So, yes, writing definitely affects my blip. :)

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  17. DL, I think you might be my long lost brother, because I am the same way. In person, I am introverted. My idea of hell is being stuck on an airplane seated next to a stranger who wants to pass several hours of flight talking. Total silence and a book, or better my laptop and my manuscript, sounds a lot better -- no matter how long the flight is!

    But online ... it's different. It is nice to know that my social blip might extend beyond the one I make personally.

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  18. I can soooo relate to this post. My Internet self and my personal self...you simply managed to express it so darned well today!

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  19. Interesting. If I focus too much on how bright my blip should be, it sort of sucks the fun out of writing for me, so I try not to think about what could be if I ever get this book published, and just enjoy the writing process.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  20. DL, we are one and the same! I am bolder and make friends quickly here online. And I'd like to think my blip hangs around a while.
    That has had an effect on my real world though, as I've stepped more into the limelight with my guitar playing and band, and with my interactions with others.

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  21. Most writers are introverts, or at least believe they are. I've been to conferences where said introverts were dancing on tables, so color me skeptical. Even with blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads etc., etc., etc., my radar blip is barely detectable, but at least it's there. That's something, right?

    As Euripides said, "The good and the wise lead quiet lives." :)

    ~VR Barkowski

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  22. Be proud of your blips, who says they have to be separate personas? Its all you, writing and blogging just give you a reason to stand out ;) though I must say the opposite, I am pretty outgoing in the real world but content to explore writing networks quietly.

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  23. How cool that you compared your life like a blip. I'm an introvert and so I kind of shy away from doing things but I love your advice. Thank you.

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  24. People in my day life wonder why I'm so anxious to get home all the time. They think I must be lonely since I socialize outside of work so little. I know what you mean about being a blip in the real world; I hope I make a better impact in here.

    Awesome analogy Don.

    ......dhole

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  25. I'm introverted for sure, but less shy now that some years have passed. I was a painfully shy kid, to the point where people thought I was rude. :) I was also shy in high school and again, people thought I was snubbing them.

    In recent years I've managed to blossom, but gosh I still love my alone time. I live alone with just felines for company, and I honestly love it. I am also fortunate enough to have good friends I can turn to if I need, as well as a great family.

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  26. I'm shy, but not necessarily introverted. I want to be more able to just approach people, and I envy those that do so easily, but it's a painful shyness, and not much I can do other than what I already force myself to do.

    I feel like sometimes I'm forgettable in real life. I always look like someone else. People are always mistaking me for someone else, or telling me who I resemble (Winona Ryder most often, Katy Perry most recently). The same people introduce themselves to me over and over. So what am I doing wrong?

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  27. Good post, DL. My wife and I are both happy introverts, though I'm the type who in social settings can play the extrovert to make it easier on other introverts.

    It's encouraging though, that the when you look at writers, painters and other artists who have influenced the way we think and view the world--even as children--we find introverts to be the majority. If given the opportunity, I'd much rather live a quiet, love-filled life with my super-cute-writer-wife and kids, and hope that after I'm gone, when blips of social butterflies have long faded off the radar, my blip might be just beginning its glowing life through my kids and the art I've left behind.

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  28. Hi, DL. What an interesting IWSG post.

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  29. DL,

    Your last line was beautifully written. You are one in the same person.... You just chose to split yourself between worlds and that works for you. Nothing wrong with that. Many of us have split personas and personalities. I just find one aspect of this sad though, the people in your life don't get to see the passionate, creative, and sensitive part of you... Too bad. They don't know what they're missing.

    I get the family thing too. When my parents were alive, they never really got me either. My two brothers don't either, too wrapped up in their own funk. But thankfully we have our wonderful community who love and appreciate us....

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  30. This is a beautifully written post. And not the first one I've seen today where writers are shy and introverted. I'm one of the introverted people and consider myself socially inept. I'm certainly not that perky personable type. Well said, DL :)

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  31. Well I always refer to myself as a walking contradiction... I grew up painfully shy and yet today I stand and sing in front of hundreds of people... but I clam up if I have to speak in public... it doesn't make too much sense, I know...
    Great post DL!

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  32. I can really relate to this post. I have my online me and my real me. They are like two sides of a coin, and sometimes they find a way to melt together. :)

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  33. I think many of us have similar double lives like this. I've had the outgoing real world life, but I'm a loner at heart. So I much prefer this digital persona that allows me to be a hermit and make up stuff. lol But I do get that craving to get out in the world now and then.
    I'm glad you found your blip. I think you make a nice big splash in this cyber slice of life and wish everyone could be as genuine and nice as you. :)

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  34. Hmm, interesting analogy. Guess the blips balance each other out. I think...I think I'm fairly evenly-blipped between real life and here - intimate with very few, a moderate circle I'm amiable with and have genuine affection for, and not so comfortable or effective when it comes to bigger groups.

    By the way, I just LOVED your comment at my place on Anne's interview. :)

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  35. People can show different sides to their personality depending on who they're with. I am one way with complete strangers, another way with family and friends, and also another way with blogging colleagues.

    I strongly believe that introverts have a strong impact on those around them. I actually wrote a couple of blog posts about introverts last year. Here's one of them. The CNN video's great.
    http://readisthenewblack.blogspot.com/2012/04/susan-cain-power-of-introverts.html

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  36. I think this community enables a whole bunch of like-minded people to come together and discuss things where they know what each other is talking about. What I once kept to myself has found an expression, so I'm a very different person online than in real life. I'm unknown in my town, and dislike approaching people even about the most straightforward things. In real life my blip would be about being a good dad and husband, I think. Or I hope so!

    Great post!

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  37. I'm late catching up with the IWSG but I can't believe how much I relate to this post. I've opened up for the first time in my life since I started writing and blogging and, as Nick put it so well, I've found a way to express what I once kept to myself. I've never been a joiner and the offline me hates groups, but online I love being part of this community. It's amazing how many of us share similar stories about this.

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